11-year-old girl's hijab cut by man while walking to school

Related readingAt-a-glance Burqa Niqab and Hijab

An 11-year-old Muslim girl who told police she was attacked twice by a man who snuck up behind her and cut her hijab while she walked to school, told reporters the man smiled at her before running away.

The attacker, in 10 minutes, repeatedly cut the girl's hijab using scissors while she was walking to school with her brother.

"I felt really scared and confused", she told reporters Friday afternoon, recounting the traumatic incident in a Scarborough neighbourhood near Birchmount Rd. and Sheppard Ave. E. "I'm so proud to be a Canadian, and I feel so safe in this community", Samad said. She said she was on the sidewalk when she sensed a man behind her and turned to find him holding scissors.

When her attacker pulled her hood down, she said he cut her hijab from the bottom up. They are seeking one suspect described as an Asian man in his 20s. The siblings said he had black hair with straight bangs to the eyebrows, a thin mustache and black prescription glasses. Terrified, she turned to face him - a young Asian male, roughly 5-foot-8 to six feet tall, wearing black trousers, a black hoodie and brown gloves.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted a message of support to the young girl on Friday.

"My heart goes out to Khawlah Noman following this morning's cowardly attack on her in Toronto". "Canada is an open and welcoming country, and incidents like this can not be tolerated". "I can't imagine how afraid she must have been", Trudeau said.

In early December 2016, a female Muslim Baruch College student claimed several men shouting "Donald Trump!" attempted to tear off her hijab on a New York City subway train; she later admitted to making it up.

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"I saw my sister and she was frightened and I was more frightened because I didn't know if she was injured or if he was going to hurt her", Mohammad Zakariya said.

"I'm just happy she's safe".

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and Toronto Mayor John Tory also released statements condemning the attack.

The Toronto Disctrict School Board says school administrators contacted police and the girl's family as soon as they learned of the attack.

"I don't know why he did that, it's just not Canada". We are shocked to learn of this assault and we will be working closely with police to offer any assistance that we can. "We must stand firm in our support of this young girl who was assaulted simply for wearing a hijab".

I join with all Toronto residents in standing up to such an act of hatred.

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